Red Sox

Shoulder still ailing, Wright could miss remainder of year

Shoulder still ailing, Wright could miss remainder of year

OAKLAND -- Steven Wright will not make his scheduled start Tuesday in San Diego.

For a team in the middle of a playoff race, that's bad enough. But it could be worse: Wright acknowledged that he can't guarantee that he'll pitch again this season.

"I'm not going to say that now," said Wright.

Wright's right shoulder has been a concern ever since he jammed it diving back into second base in early August when he was utilized as a pinch-runner.

He missed a start last month because of it, then returned to make two more, the most recent of which was last Wednesday, the final game of the Red Sox homestand.

But when Wright attempted to make his between-start bullpen, he felt some restriction and the shoulder. The Red Sox will have him visit with a specialist in southern California in the next few days.

"He still feels something," said John Farrell. "When a guy can't get to the mound on his side day, that pretty much takes him out of his start."

In the meantime, Clay Buchholz will take Wright's spot Tuesday against the Padres, and, should it be necessary, thereafter as well.

"It's not great," said Wright of his shoulder. "I was trying to throw through a lot of the pain and the discomfort and it's not getting better. It just got to the point going out there at 50 percent. The last two games I didn't have the same effectiveness with my knuckle ball. I had some pain throwing. I tried throwing through it and it's at the point now where we'll get another set of eyes on my shoulder."

"The tough read on this is that he was able to make his last two starts," said Farrell, "and had the ability to get to 100 pitches. That doesn't suggest there's something severe here and yet, he doesn't feel quite right."

Wright said the discomfort in the shoulder hasn't worsened, but rather "just kind of plateaued. The MRI was clean, so it was more about pain management because structurally, it was fine. It was more about the tolerance of the bursitis. It just got to a point where it wasn't any better. It was so hard for me to throw a pitch with conviction because everytime I did, it hurt so I was just up there, throwing batting practice."

It's possible that a cortisone shot could help with the pain and inflammation Wright's dealing with.

"I'm not ruling anything out at this point," he said, "especially at this point of the season. I think, early on, we tried to avoid a lot of things in order to come back faster. It worked to the point where I could go out and throw. But it got to the point where, every time I threw a pitch with the same effort level and delivery that I had before, it hurt. And the recover process is slower."

This marks the second straight year in which Wright's season has been interrupted in the final month by injury. Last year, he missed the final five weeks after being struck in the head by a ball in batting practice and suffered a concussion.

"You just take it day-by-day," he said. "I don't want to overthink it, but it's hard not to when it's your shoulder. That's kind of your bread-and-butter (as a pitcher)."

Buchholz was available Saturday night out of the bullpen, but Farrell indicated that would be his last night in relief in anticipation of Tuesday's start.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.